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Musings

By Mystic Trish

Eros, Philia, Storge, Agape, Familial, Platonic

 

The ancient Greeks had several words for love. All were words to describe actual personal relationships. I wonder how some of these terms fit in-to our modern world of wireless communication and personal relationships.

What the cell phones and Internet did for worldwide communications is what Gutenberg’s press did for literacy in Renaissance Europe. When Gutenberg invented a movable-type printing press, he started a printing revolution that is regarded as one of the most monumental events in history. It played a key role in bringing literacy, religious reform and the Age of Enlightenment to the world. It brought a thirst for knowledge and education to the masses. Most people could not afford books and could not read or write during the fifteenth century.

These changes did not happen without unforeseen consequences. The ensuing political upheavals and religious wars went on for generations. Personal freedoms were hard won with each wave of secular revolt against what was then the establishment — the Crown and the Church — sometimes both at the same time.

In our time when we are all so connected electronically I am always amazed at how seldom people actually feel connected to each other in a truly personal, intimate way. Is this part of what Alvin Toffler was referring to in his book Future Shock? His shortest definition for the term was a perception of “too much change in too short a period of time.” Interestingly, the book came out three years before the first cell phone was introduced. We now have multiple generations with access to cell phone and Internet technology. It has changed how the world communicates.

People can sit at the same table texting each other instead of looking at each other, speaking to each other directly, or making eye contact. Eye contact lets you see how the person you are talking to is responding to you, or how he or she is reacting emotionally. You are actually interacting with a person. A human being; who might laugh at your jokes or frown with disagreement; a real person who will have an emotional reaction to you and you to her or him.

I think we have an entire  group of people on planet earth who are more in touch with their virtual world than the real world. A Virtual Relationship is a relationship where people are not physically present but communicate exclusively using online, texting, or other electronic communication medium.

How does one begin to talk about these relationships?

When people can meet and fall in love and have very pub-lic breakups over the Internet, how are we meant to react: with sympathy, with scorn, with surprise? The relationship is not real! Or is it? The passion and emotion are real. How do we judge a virtual romance? And yes, we do judge it.

Is it any less real because the two parties are not in the same room at the same time? Is what the mind and heart are reacting to any less real if we are staring at a screen? Do the parties involved not feel responsible because they are not actually looking into someone else’s eyes? They can pretend it’s not really happening. They can feel like they have no responsibility for what is happening.

The experience is very desensitizing. We see this with online and video gaming; young children and some unstable adults do not understand the difference between virtual and actual reality. What about online addictions? Are they any less real than physical addictions? They can have the same negative impact on relationships and bank accounts.

We seem to be in a time when humanity is in a very volatile state. I keep coming across writings about this being one of the most overwhelming times in human history. Bill Clinton has referred to this period as “the most interdependent time in human history”

We have so much information about each other at our fingertips. We are so interdependent yet we don’t seem any more intimate with each other. Most people rarely speak with their neighbors; they spend more time e-mailing, or on social networks sharing silly cat videos. And many admit, if you ask, that they feel disconnected from society. They do not feel a deep sense of attachment to those around them.

Is this a greater time of tumultuous change than even the transformations of the Renaissance? In the late 1400’s the people of Europe found the people of the Americas. Who do you think was more shocked? This event might be the equivalent to our being visited by space aliens. Now how would that interaction go? I think the world has not had this much rapid change since the Renaissance.

When we can’t reach out and hug our child through a computer screen to express our strong affection for them, what do we do?

If we can’t embrace a friend across thousands of miles when tragedy strikes, what do we do? How do we express our feelings, our relationship to that person in their time of need?

Again... I refer back to those Greek words—

Eros: passionate physical sensual love

Philia: affection for friends

Storge: affection like that felt by parents for offspring

Agape: unconditional love of God

Familial: love of family

Platonic: without physical attraction.

Trisha Howe is a born intuitive who started psychic training at age 15. She has over 30 years’ experience in Intuitive Counseling, Crystal Healing, Tarot, Mediumship, and Clairvoyance. Contact her at Mystic trish@cox.net